Postmortem fertilization: would you use your deceased partner’s sperm to get pregnant?

Ana Clark wanted to be a mother. Upon receiving fatal news, postmortem fertilization did not seem like a scandalous alternative.

Ana Clark went out for a motorcycle ride with her husband, Mike. Despite only being 25 years old, he was a high command sergeant in the United States, that he had to leave home several times a year to cover special missions. Within a few years of being married, they made the decision to have kids soon. One day, while taking a motorcycle ride, the plan changed forever.

An unconventional proposal

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It was an accident. Mike Clark lost control of the bike. They unbarred. She broke several ribs. He, for his part – after several even more dangerous missions – did not survive. They were immediately taken to the hospital. At that time, Ana did not know what had happened to her husband.

The next day, while recovering from his injuries in the emergency room, he was informed that Mike had passed away. The pain of the broken ribs could hardly be compared to the pain that, from that day, carries on itself. At the time, I thought that I could never have children with the love of his life.

His family learned that he had become a widow. Only then did he receive an unconventional suggestion. A cousin of hers advised her to recover a semen sample that was left in his body. In this way, although it was rare, they could apply postmortem fertilization. The story was told to the BBC in 2016 and revived the controversy over this practice.

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Legal loopholes

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According to Roberto Gazón Jiménez, research lawyer at the Autonomous University of Mexico, “human manipulation is inconceivable where the creation of new races could be assumed: superior or inferior, varying their characteristics according to human will for commercial purposes. , more perverse scientists or egotists ”. East not the case with postmortem fertilization.

On the contrary, the approach is as follows. For those who have lost a loved one who naturally produces semen, it is possible to extract a sample after they pass away. They have to spend just a few hours to do the procedureas the body begins to break down rapidly.

In this way, people like Ana Clark can have the possibility of carrying a baby with genes of the loved one who passed away. Attempts to implement these types of methods date back to the 1970s and, although they remain unpopular, a growing number of people have lost a being they opt for this alternative.

As it is an alternative that not many doctors are willing to accept, there are loopholes regarding postmortem fertilization. In fact, Cappy Rothman, the same physician who pioneered this methodology fifty years ago, founded his own center in 2000, and receives a increasing volume of patients year by year.

Postmortem fertilization: an ethical and biological controversy

post-mortem fertilizationPhoto: Getty Images

In the absence of a legal framework that supports or punishes this type of practice, the only thing that is taken for granted – at least in the United States – is that the consent of the person who died is required. Other countries show stricter reservations regarding this alternative. Canada, Germany and Sweden, for example, strictly prohibit this type of practice.

The biological and ethical discussion regarding postmortem fertilization lies in the extraction of sperm from a corpse. Regardless of how they are extracted, the reserve emphasizes respect for the decisions of the patient who passed away. Once dead, his possibilities to decide on your own body they become null completely.

If the statement in favor of the procedure is clearly stated while the man is still alive, the decision is final. In the event that you suffer from some type of disease or cancer, another Legal chasm hinders the process of obtaining sperm. To this day, the controversy remains unresolved.

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